Groupwork Calendar

Groupwork Calendar - June to July 2021

Groupwork Topics


The Prison Phoenix Trust encourages prisoners in the development of their spiritual welfare, through the practices of meditation and yoga, working with silence and the breath.  They attend Elizabeth Fry Charity once a week to deliver a yoga session. 

Community Forum:
At Elizabeth Fry Charity we believe it is important that residents can ask questions of the staff team and contribute to the running of the Approved Premises.  The Community Forum provides this opportunity.  It takes place every two weeks and is chaired by the Operations Manager. 

Enabling Environment:
Enabling Environments are places where there is a focus on creating a positive and effective social environment and where healthy relationships are the key to success.  Elizabeth Fry Charity was recognised by the Royal College of Psychiatry as an Enabling Environment in 2018.  This fortnightly group provides staff and residents with an opportunity to review current practice and to plan future activities.  It provides residents with a voice and ensures that the environment is as inclusive as possible, for both residents and staff.

Restorative Life Skills:
This is a six week programme, offering the following insights:

  • Restorative and relational practice become the explicit set of principles and skills that inform every communication;
  • Increased self-awareness, emotional literacy and listening skills;
  • Understanding behaviour as communication;
  • Conflict prevention and conflict resolution skills;
  • How to build social capital within families, teams, workplaces.

Preparing for Move On:
This group session aims to prepare residents for moving on into independent living, providing a realistic and practical overview of managing a tenancy.  It provides an overview of housing options, rights and responsibilities of being a tenant, budgeting and how to link in with agencies within the move on area.  We appreciate that moving on can be a daunting time for people, this session aims to relieve anxieties and encourage residents to be actively involved in managing their move on. 

Soothe Boxes:
This session provides residents with the opportunity to create their own Soothe Boxes, in a safe and supportive environment.  When we are very distressed, it is difficult to think rationally and to decide how to help ourselves. We can therefore resort to using self-destructive behaviours which may help at that moment, but can cause other problems later and in the long-term. A Soothe Box can be used to help when we feel overwhelmingly distressed.  It can be kept in a prominent and handy place, full of items that we can use to distract ourselves and make ourselves feel better.  It can include music, DVD’s, games, smells or tastes that remind us of a positive time. 
Distress Tolerance:
Distress tolerance skills refer to a type of intervention in Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) where people learn to manage distress in a healthy way. During the session, residents are helped to learn skills that are helpful for situations where they may not feel able to control a situation, but they need to manage their own response.

Thinking Traps:
As we all know, emotions often get in our way of thinking clearly. They push us toward thinking in ways that may trap us in a bad situation or make a bad situation worse.  This session helps residents to recognise their thinking traps, the impact it has on their lives and how to use alternative strategies in the future. 

Managing Stress and Positive Thinking:
Stress can affect how you feel emotionally, mentally and physically, and how you behave.  This session aims to help residents to recognise that they have control over how they react to a challenge or stress and to explore the links between thoughts, feelings and behaviour.  The group enables residents to use problem solving skills, in a way that is helpful to them.

Stop, Breathe and Think:
When was the last time you could sit back, allow your mind to be at ease and just breathe?  This session provides residents with the opportunity to do just this, by exploring relaxation techniques and mindfulness and how they can use them within their lives. 

Mental Health Awareness:
Nearly two thirds of people say that they have experienced a mental health problem.  One of the biggest challenges of with poor mental health is removing the stigma that surrounds it.  Many do not hesitate to seek help for a physical pain or problem, yet so many of us ignore emotional and mental health issues - or we feel too embarrassed, confused or scared to talk about them.  This session raises awareness, it explains how to approach mental health and remove stigma; and it also provides simple tools, tips and ideas for day-to-day wellbeing-management.

Freedom Programme:
The Freedom Programme examines the roles played by attitudes and beliefs on the actions of abusive men and the responses of victims and survivors. The aim is to help them to make sense of and understand what has happened to them, instead of the whole experience just feeling like a horrible mess. The Freedom Programme also describes in detail how children are affected by being exposed to this kind of abuse and very importantly how their lives are improved when the abuse is removed.  The Freedom Programme runs over twelve sessions. 

Building Healthy Relationships:
A healthy relationship is an evolving relationship -- i.e., each partner is learning and growing through the relationship, and often through the conflicts.  Conflict can provide fertile ground for learning when each partner's intent is to learn, rather than to control or avoid being controlled.  This session helps residents to explore personal boundaries within relationships, the qualities of a healthy relationships, warning signs of unhealthy relationships and how to deal with conflict in an appropriate way. 

Healing from Trauma:
This session is designed to help residents to begin healing from the effects of violence or other abuse, and the trauma that accompanies them.  It is recognised that one of the first steps to healing from trauma is to acknowledge the trauma and the impact it has had.  This group will enable participants to begin this process in a safe environment, by understanding how widespread abuse is in women’s lives, to become aware of the strengths they have and to increase their skills needed for healing. 

Emotional Regulation:
Emotional regulation is the management of our emotions and associated actions. This session aims to help residents to learn to manage their emotions by becoming aware of them as they occur, learn how to act to control them and to recognise how they react to them. 

Team Building:
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” -- Helen Keller.  This session helps residents to identify what teamwork skills are and how they can use them in their day-to-day lives, recognising that these are not just skills they can use in a workplace.  It demonstrates how team building can help with their communication skills and how it can help build their confidence.

Physical and Sexual Health:
It is recognised that poor physical and sexual health can contribute to poor mental health and cause many difficulties within a person’s life.  This session provides residents with a general overview of physical and sexual health concerns, steps they can take to address them and signposting to external agencies. 

Next Steps:
"One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation." — Arthur Ashe.  This session supports residents in preparing for their next steps, whether in to paid employment or voluntary work.  Participants are provided with the help to update their CV’s, search for employment, complete application forms and prepare for interviews.  It is recognised that not all residents may feel able to undertake work now, but the group will help them develop skills they could use in the future.  These sessions will also be attended by a volunteer from Smartworks, an organisation that work with Women to help them back in to employment.

Vision Boards:
We all have a vision of our hopes and dreams for the future.  A vision board is a collage of images, pictures, and affirmations of dreams, goals, and things that make you happy. This session provides residents with a safe space to talk about their dreams and to create a vision board to represent this. Creating a vision board can be a useful tool to help residents conceptualise their goals and can serve as a source of motivation as they work towards achieving their dreams.

Strategies for Strengthening Relationships:
Interpersonal relationships with friends, coworkers, loved ones, and people in general are impacted by many factors. In any interpersonal exchange, each party brings their own unique set of qualities, expectations, and interaction style to the table.  This session encourages residents to explore areas that can strengthen their relationships, including the use of praise, openness and positivity.  

Right Path, Wrong Path:
There are many pathways that contribute to why someone commits an offence.  This groupwork session explores the potential reasons for offending and the impact of crime.  It asks residents to think about the Cycle of Change and where they sit within it, exploring how they can take the next step to living a crime free life. 

Take a Walk in Their Shoes:
Is there such a thing as a victimless crime?  This session encourages residents to explore this, looking at the consequences of offending on direct and indirect victims and how it would feel to walk in their shoes.    

Bend, Don’t Break:
Resilience is the ‘rubber ball’ factor: the ability to bounce back in the event of adversity!  This group session provides residents with the skills to cope with the and rise to the inevitable challenges, problems and set-backs they may meet during their lives, and come back stronger from them.  It helps them use different skills and draw on various sources of help, including rational thinking skills, physical and mental health, and their relationships with those around them.

Food for Thought:
Knowing what foods we should and should not be eating can be really confusing, especially when it feels like the advice changes regularly. However, evidence suggests that as well as affecting our physical health, what we eat may also affect the way we feel.  Improving our diet can help improve our mood, give us more energy and help us to think more clearly.  This four session programme aims to help residents learn how to cook healthy meals, on a budget.  It is suitable for varying skill levels, as peer-to-peer support is used in the kitchen, enabling everyone to feel confident in what they are cooking.  Residents are also offered the opportunity to complete a Food Hygiene qualification, which they can use moving forward.   

Discrimination and Diversity:
“We are all different, which is great because we are all unique. Without diversity life would be very boring.” — Catherine Pulsifer.  This session helps residents to understand what discrimination is and the impact this can have on someone, both positively and negatively.  Residents will explore issues surrounding political correctness and victimisation, as well as how differences can and should be celebrated. 

Managing Addiction:
Our Substance Misuse Worker runs a weekly group covering many topics that are all designed to support those in their recovery from drugs and alcohol.  It is an open, non-judgemental and supportive group, where residents can help one another at their different stages of recovery.  The following topics are covered:
  • Finding Balance in Recovery
  • Introduction to Mindfulness
  • Justification and Denial
  • Keeping Motivated
  • Lapse and Relapse
  • Mind Traps and Ways of Thinking
  • Recovery Capital
  • Setting Goals and Making Changes
  • Strengths and Fears
  • Thoughts and Cravings
  • Triggers and High Risk Situations